recipes

Meal Ideas 19 January 2018

Big Flavor for the Big Game

(Family Features) When hosting a game-day party, you’d think the focus would be on the score or the award-winning commercials, but it’s actually a great reason to indulge in flavor-filled bites. When the big day rolls around, let your guests obsess over the game while you serve up ooey-gooey dips, saucy wings and football-themed desserts that can keep them happily glued to their seats.

Dip into delicious. No watch-party menu is complete without a cheesy dip. This over the top dip brings big flavor and is perfect for kicking the party up a notch as your team works to post that next big win.

Slow cook your cornbread. Not only does this recipe for cornbread amp up the flavor with paprika, garlic powder and cheese, you can set it, forget it then enjoy it with your favorite chili or ribs.

Go ahead and wing it. Wings and football go together like quarterbacks and touchdowns. This year, try a south-of-the-border version and rub wings in cheesy taco seasoning. For extra flair, serve them on a platter with taco fixings.

Fan-favorite desserts. Win or lose, there’s always room for dessert. It can be surprisingly simple to create fun and tasty football-themed treats. These bite-size truffles require just five ingredients and are the perfect finishing touch(down) for your game-day spread.

Find more flavorful game-day recipes and ideas for your party at McCormick.com.
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Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles

  • 4         cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
  • 1 1/2   cups marshmallow creme
  • 2         teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract
  • 12       ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1         ounce white chocolate, melted
  1. In large bowl, mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry flavor until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate as directed on package. Using fork, dip one cookie truffle at a time into chocolate. Tap back of fork 2-3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
  3. Spoon melted white chocolate into small, re-sealable plastic bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles to resemble football stitching. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Note: Cookies can be stored in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.
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Texas Trash Dip

  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 2          cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
  • 1          can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1          package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 4          cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • sliced olives (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat cream cheese and sour cream on high 1 minute, or until cheese is softened. Remove from microwave. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Add refried beans, green chilies, seasoning mix and 2 cups cheese; mix well.
  3. Spread bean mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sliced olives and avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Cheesy Taco Wings

  • 2 1/2    pounds chicken wing pieces
  • 1          package McCormick Cheesy Taco Mix
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2          tablespoons sliced green onion
  • 1       tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss chicken wings with seasoning mix. On large, shallow foil-lined baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange wings in single layer.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.
  4. On large serving platter, arrange lettuce. Top with wings, tomato, green onion and queso fresco.

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Slow Cooker Cheesy Cornbread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          cup milk
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 2          packages (8 1/2 ounces each) corn muffin mix
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup frozen corn
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix milk, eggs, corn muffin mix, paprika, garlic powder and salt until well blended.
  2. Stir in corn and 1 cup cheese. Place clean kitchen towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  3. Cook 2 hours on high, or until toothpick in center of cornbread comes out clean. Uncover.
  4. Sprinkle cornbread with remaining cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Source:

Healthy 14 December 2017

Fresh Fruit Flavors

(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.

It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.

For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.

Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.

Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Buddha Bowl

Citrusy Tahini Dressing:

  • 3          tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3       cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1          teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Buddha Bowls:

  • 2          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 4          mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2          avocados, sliced
  • 2          cups cooked black rice
  • 1          cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • Citrusy Tahini Dressing
  1. To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
  2. To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Watermelon Pizza

  • Greek yogurt
  • Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mint
  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
  • Slivered almonds
  1. Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Breakfast & Brunch 11 August 2017

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy School Days

(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.

Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.

After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:

  • Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
  • Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
  • Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.

Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.

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Morning Oasis Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1 1/2    cups Millville Quick Oats
  • 1          teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • 2          cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1/8       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 3          tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
  • 1/4       cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
  • 1          mango, sliced
  • 1/4       cup chopped coconut
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
  • .45       ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
  4. The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

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Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen   
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3/4       cup blackberries
  • 1/4       cup blueberries
  • 1/4       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
  • 1          teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 2          teaspoons lime juice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lime zest
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.

Source: ALDI

Breakfast & Brunch 18 July 2017

Make Breakfast Time Anytime

(Family Features) Give your meals a wake-up call because breakfast is no longer just for mornings. From weeknight family dinners to a quick lunch, you can make mealtime fun with breakfast recipes any time of day.

Delicious, wholesome ingredients are the centerpiece of breakfast dishes, and hand-crafted Smithfield bacon, ham and sausage lends mouthwatering flavor to breakfast dishes you can enjoy all day, any day. Put a hearty spin on avocado toast or get creative with a protein-packed breakfast bowl.

Find more recipes you can enjoy morning, noon and night at Smithfield.com.

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Breakfast Avocado Toast with Bacon and Ham

Cook time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 12        slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Anytime Favorites Boneless Sliced Ham
  • 1 1/2-2 quarts water
  • 1          lime, juiced
  • 1          cup freshly made or refrigerated, prepared guacamole
  • 4          large eggs
  • 4          thick slices seeded whole-grain bread, toasted golden brown
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels.
  2. While bacon is baking, lay sliced ham on lightly sprayed, rimmed baking pan. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. Keep bacon and ham warm.
  3. In saucepot over medium-high heat, heat water and lime juice until simmering. Crack eggs into small cups. Slowly add eggs one at a time to pot and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until whites are just set for runny yolk or a little longer for firmer yolk. Remove eggs from water with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. Spread guacamole onto toast, topping each with sliced ham, egg, pepper and bacon. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve warm.

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Hearty Breakfast Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes           
Serves: 4

  • 8          slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Boneless Ham Steaks, cubed
  • 3          cups cooked steel-cut Irish or traditional oatmeal
  • 3 1/2-4 quarts water, divided
  • 1          pound fresh asparagus
  • 4          eggs
  • 2          cups fresh assorted berries
  • 1/2       cup walnuts
  • 1/3       cup pepitas (Spanish pumpkin seeds)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan. Place ham cubes on same rack and bake 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.
  3. Prepare oatmeal as directed on package and keep warm with ham and bacon.
  4. Over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to boil and blanch asparagus 1-2 minutes, or until tender-crisp when pierced with fork. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove asparagus; drain and reserve. In same saucepot over high heat, bring 1 1/2-2 quarts water to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and, using slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water individually. Cook 6 1/2 minutes for softer, jammy yolk or a little more for firmer yolk, keeping water simmering during cooking. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and chill 1 minute for easier peeling.

To assemble: divide oatmeal, asparagus, berries, ham and bacon among four bowls. Place peeled, halved egg in each bowl and top with walnuts and pepitas.

Source: Smithfield

Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

Meal Ideas 01 June 2017

5 Tips to Avoid Binge-Watching Guilt

(Family Features) Dozens of streaming video providers are making it easier than ever to watch the TV programming you want when you want it, and exclusive programming released an entire season at a time is transforming the way Americans watch TV. The flip side of this convenience is a surge in binge-watching, which can have some negative side effects, including binge eating.

When your favorite show is available back-to-back, it’s easy to let substantial blocks of time get away as you watch “just one more” episode to follow the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dole, the average binge-watching session clocks in around 5 hours. The same survey found that more than two-thirds of people prefer healthy snacks to fuel their marathon viewing.

Treating yourself to an occasional binge session may give your brain a well-earned break, and it’s easy to do many forms of exercise in front of the screen. The trick to keeping your binge-watching session in check and getting rid of the guilt is to exercise good habits when you head to the kitchen.

  1. Opt for snacks that include valuable vitamins and minerals.
  2. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.
  3. Look for quick solutions that help trim prep time and skip the cutting, peeling and mess.
  4. Avoid waste or spoilage with convenient, re-sealable lids that let you use what you need for a single serving and save the rest for later.
  5. Get creative to satisfy cravings. Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, dip fruit in melted chocolate and pop it in the freezer. Let it sit while you watch a few episodes of your favorite show and then enjoy.

Find more quick and easy snacks that can be made during a commercial break at dolesunshine.com.

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Fruity Flatbread

  • Pre-made flatbread crust
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Cooked and chopped turkey bacon
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  1. Cover flatbread with chopped broccoli rabe, turkey bacon and oranges.

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Peach Parfaits

  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Granola
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Mint
  1. In cup or jar, alternate layering yogurt, granola and chopped peaches. Top with mint and serve immediately.

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Brightened Up Caprese Salad

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  1. Arrange alternate slices of mozzarella and peaches. Sprinkle fresh basil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Avocado Toast

  • Avocado
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Slice avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out avocado into bowl. Smash until desired consistency.
  2. Toast bread, layer with avocado and top with peaches. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

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1-2-3 Chicken Wrap

  • Whole-wheat tortilla
  • Spinach
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  • Cooked chicken, chopped
  • Yogurt-based dressing of choice
  1. Lay tortilla flat and add spinach, oranges and chicken. Top with dressing. Fold, cut and serve.

Substitution: Preferred greens can be added in place of or in addition to spinach

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Tropical Fruit Salsa

  • Dole Jarred Tropical Fruit
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Chop 2 cups fruit, dice onion, chop cilantro and seed and mince jalapeno.
  2. Combine ingredients and stir in lime juice. Serve alongside tortilla chips.

Source: Dole Jarred Fruit

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.

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Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 10 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
  • 8 Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings
  • 4 All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
  • 8 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Burman's Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
  3. Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.
  5. To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

Source: ALDI

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Comida Mexicana

Sassy, Savory Mexican Home Cooking

(Family Features) The best home cooking traditions not only get passed down from generation to generation, but they also get “adopted” into other families. Emilio Ortega’s family, for example, enjoyed the benefits of his fascination with green chiles when he moved to New Mexico in 1890. When he returned home to California, he and his family started growing, then cooking with these great tasting chiles, perfecting homemade, authentic, Mexican meals the entire family would enjoy.

Today, you can pass that tradition on to your family by enjoying great tasting Mexican meals with the convenience of the Ortega family of products. Look for crisp Ortega taco shells made from whole kernel corn and vacuum-sealed trays to keep them fresh and crisp — and unbroken. And choose Ortega fire-roasted green chiles, Mexican seasonings and zesty salsas, ready to stir into your favorite casserole, cheese dip or soup.

So, gather at the table for your own “comida Mexicana” or family meal.

For more recipe ideas and information on Ortega’s Taco Shells, Kits, Soft Tortillas, Taco Sauces, Seasonings and Peppers, visit www.ortega.com.

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South of the Border Salad With Creamy Lime Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (16) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Ortega Sliced Jalapeños, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice

Creamy Lime Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon each oil and milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all Creamy Lime Dressing ingredients in small bowl; stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Microwave crushed taco shells on high 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine salad greens, crushed taco shells, tomatoes and jalapeños in large bowl. Divide mixture onto four serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; top with chicken strips and avocado slices.
  7. Serve with Creamy Lime Dressing.

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Black and White Mexican Bean Soup

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc black beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in flour and taco seasoning mix; gradually stir in milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cilantro.

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Mexican Snack Stacks

Makes: 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 8-inch Ortega Soft Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/3 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup salsa, sour cream and chicken in small bowl.
  3. Place 2 soft tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with salsa-chicken mixture. Spread 2 more soft tortillas with guacamole and stack on top of salsa-chicken tacos, guacamole side up.
  4. Mix refried beans with remaining 1/4 cup salsa; spread mixture onto 2 more soft tortillas and stack on top of guacamole. Top each stack with remaining 2 soft tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut each stack into 8 wedges.

 

Mexican Steak Tacos

Makes: 2 servings (2 tacos each)

  • 1 3 1/2-ounce bag boil-in-bag long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Cook rice combining cumin, garlic powder, taco sauce, salsa and salt.
  2. Rub mixture over both sides of steak.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place steak on broiler tray.
  5. Broil steak 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  6. Cut steak into thin slices.
  7. Combine rice mixture, tomatoes and chiles. Place the mixture in shells.
  8. Top rice mixture with beef slices. Squeeze juice from limes over beef.
  9. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Ortega

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Discover Chile

Exciting Flavors for Every Day

(Family Features) In restaurant kitchens nationwide — and at home — Latin American flavors continue to be a hot trend — and it’s not because of spiciness. The unique culture and geography of countries such as Chile offer exciting possibilities for everyday cooking, adding flavor and excitement to American dishes and dinner tables.

Chilean cuisine is full of flavor and color and owes its delicious variety to a combination of cultural influences: native Indian, Spanish (including Arab and Jewish), French, German, English and Italian.

Chile is about twice the size of California and stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. This narrow country — only 265 miles at its widest point — boasts a variety of climates, allowing for richly varied agriculture. Also, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite those in the northern hemisphere, so fresh fruits and vegetables associated with summer in the U.S. are available from Chile during the winter.

Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:

  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums

Chilean Treasures

Seafood. With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, Chile offers an extraordinary bounty of seafood. The clean Pacific waters teem with oysters, prawns, salmon, abalone, sea bass and more.

Wine. Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, and culinary writers regularly sing praises for Chilean wines. Michael Green, the wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet Magazine, said, “Chile is a sleeping giant in terms of the quality, diversity and value of its wines. The region is home to some of the most thrilling and tasty wines in the world.”

Spices. One of the most unique flavors of Chilean cooking comes from a spice blend called merkén from the Mapuches, a native people of Chile. It’s an aromatic mixture of dried and smoked red chilis, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Merkén is an extremely versatile spice with an attractive copper color and smoky flavor. It can be sprinkled on fish, shrimp, poultry, beef and vegetables, or added to soups, sauces, cheese and pasta. Available in specialty grocery stores, it can also be ordered online.

Produce. Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez has created recipes featuring unique Chilean flavors. One centers on the carica, also known as Chilean Golden Papaya, and ulmo honey. Carica is a unique fruit that has been described as a combination of a mango and a peach. It can be used as an appetizer or dessert, in salads and hot dishes. You’ll find it sold in jars in specialty stores and online. Ulmo honey comes from the ulmo tree, native to Chile. It has a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness that make an excellent accompaniment to mild cheeses. It is also available at specialty stores and online.

Chile offers a wide variety of fresh foods and rich flavors to discover.

Chile’s food growing regions

North
goats, llamas, subtropical fruits such as carica, scallops

Central Valley
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine

Central Valley South
dairy products, razor clams, kiwi, grains, cattle, wine

Lake Region
cattle, dairy, berries, salmon, Chilean abalones

Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab

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Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Serves 6

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel (coarse sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro seeds
  • 1 tablespoon merkén
  • 1 tablespoon cochayuyo molido ahumado (smoked seaweed powder), optional

Salmon:

  • 6 3.5- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Avocado Tartar:

  • 2 cups avocado, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon finely diced yellow chili pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  1. Coarsely grind and mix salt and all the spices. Reserve in shallow bowl.
  2. In a non-stick pan, sear salmon filets with olive oil on both sides, just getting a nice golden color (about 90 seconds per side). Do not over cook. The center of the fillet has to be raw.
  3. Press one side of each fillet into salt-spice mixture and set aside.
  4. Mix all ingredients for Avocado Tartar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salmon fillets over the tartar. Serve immediately.

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Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Makes 8 to 10 4-ounce portions

  • 1 quart cream
  • 1/4 cup ulmo honey OR honey of choice
  • 4 gelatin sheets OR 1 package powdered gelatin
  • 4 full caricas OR fresh papayas cut in half to grill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh mint leaves
  1. Heat cream in small sauce pan and turn off the heat right before boiling point. Add honey and, using a wooden spoon, mix well with the cream. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  2. Put the gelatin in cold water until you see the gelatin is soft — about three minutes. Discard excess water (gelatin will be softened) and dissolve gelatin in the cream mixture.
  3. Fill panna cotta containers (or 4-ounce ramekins) 3/4 full and chill until set (about three hours in the refrigerator).
  4. Brush the caricas with olive oil and grill them over medium heat until color browns a bit (one minute per side). Right before serving, sprinkle lemon juice, sugar to taste and lemon zest on top. Serve on the side of the Panna Cottas (in containers) with mint to garnish.

Source: Trade Commission of Chile

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